By Sakur AbdulSalam
Relatives of slain city business woman Betty Donah Katushabe have protested the move by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to drop charges against Former Kampala Central Police Station commander superintendent of police Aaron Baguma.
On Wednesday, Justice Flavia Anglin Senoga discharged Baguma after the DPP presented in court a letter indicating that he had discontinued murder proceedings against him.
“Basing on a letter dated December 21, 2017 presented in court by the DPP discontinuing charges against A8 (Baguma), the charges against him are hereby dropped and he is accordingly discharged,” Senoga ruled.
The relatives of deceased led by Moris Masereka said they are greatly disappointed by the DPP's decision to drop the charges against Baguma who refused to rescue Katushabe yet he witnessed the beatings, which resulted into her death.
“We believe that Baguma is equally responsible for the death of Katushabe being a senior officer of police who is expected to prevent crimes,” Masereka said.
However, DPP has powers under article 120 of the constitution to drop charges against an accused person at any given stage of proceedings.
It was a moment of joy on the side of Baguma on learning about his release.
Baguma has been indicted with the murder of slain businesswoman Betty Donah Katushabe alongside pine car depot boss Muhammad Ssebuwufu and seven others.
These include Godfrey Kayiza, Philip Mirambo, Stephen Lwanga, Paul Tasingika, Yoweri Kitayimba, Shaban Otuddu and Damaseni Ssentongo. The judge has now set February 5 to start hearing the case.
It is alleged that the accused and others still at large on October, 21, 2015, beat Katushabe to death using sticks and machetes at pine car depot on Lumumba Avenue, in Kampala on orders of Ssebuwufu over failure to remit Shs9m debt.
Court documents indicate that the debt arose from a Toyota Premio which Ssebuwufu sold to Katushabe at Shs20m but remained with a balance of Shs9m, which she had failed to pay. However, in a bid to recover the money they beat her to death.
Prosecution further alleges that on the same day, the accused also robed Katushabe of her phone worth Shs300, 000.